Age-adjusted death rates for liver cancer among adults aged 25 and over, by sex, in the United States, 2000–2016. Liver cancer death rates for adults aged 25 and over increased 43 percent from 7.2 per 100,000 U.S. standard population in 2000 to 10.3 in 2016. Graphic: CDC

By Maddie Bender
17 July 2018

(CNN) – Death rates from liver cancer increased 43 percent for American adults from 2000 to 2016, according to a report released Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. The increase comes even as mortality for all cancers combined has declined.

Liver cancer death rates increased for both men and women 25 and older, as well as white, black and Hispanic people. Only Asians and Pacific Islanders saw a decrease in mortality from liver cancer.

The rise in mortality doesn't mean that liver cancer is deadlier than before, according to Dr. Jiaquan Xu, the author of the report; the 10-year survival rate for liver cancer didn't change much. Rather, the increase in mortality means more people are developing liver cancer.

More than 70% of liver cancers are caused by underlying liver disease, which has risk factors such as obesity, smoking, excess alcohol consumption, and hepatitis B and C infection, said Dr. Farhad Islami, the scientific director of cancer surveillance research at the American Cancer Society.

"I think the main reason for the increase in liver cancer incidence and death rate in the US is the increase in the prevalence of excess body weight and hepatitis C virus infection in baby boomers," said Islami, who authored a study on liver cancer occurrence between 1990 and 2014.

Up until 1992, blood transfusions and organ transplants were not screened for hepatitis C, Xu said. According to the CDC, this was once a common means of hepatitis C transmission. […]

The opioid epidemic might also be at fault, said Dr. Manish A. Shah, a medical oncologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian. Hepatitis C, spread by sharing needles, drove elevated rates of liver cirrhosis, or scarring due to damage to the liver, in the 1990s and 2000s, Shah said. Cirrhosis increases the risk for liver cancer, although it is not clear why, he added. [more]

Liver cancer death rate in US rose 43% in 16 years


By Jiaquan Xu, M.D.
17 July 2018

(CDC) – Key findings:

Data from the National Vital Statistics System, Mortality

  • Age-adjusted death rates for liver cancer increased 43%, from 10.5 per 100,000 U.S. standard population to 15.0 for men and 40%, from 4.5 to 6.3 for women, between 2000 and 2016.
  • During 2000–2016, liver cancer death rates decreased 22% for non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander (API) adults, but increased 48% for non-Hispanic white, 43% for non-Hispanic black, and 27% for Hispanic adults.
  • Trends in liver cancer death rates varied by age group, but increasing trends from 2000 through 2016 were observed for adults aged 65–74 and 75 and over.
  • In 2016, among the 50 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.), D.C. had the highest death rate while Vermont had the lowest.

Liver cancer (including intrahepatic bile duct cancer) was the ninth leading cause of cancer death in 2000 and rose to sixth in 2016 (1). Although death rates for all cancer combined have declined since 1990, a recent report documented an increasing trend in liver cancer death rates during 1990–2014 (2,3). In this report, trends in liver cancer death rates are examined by sex, race and Hispanic origin, and age group from 2000 through 2016 for adults aged 25 and over. Death rates in 2016 by state and the District of Columbia (D.C.) are also presented.

Age-adjusted liver cancer death rates increased steadily from 2000 through 2016 for both men and women aged 25 and over.

  • Liver cancer death rates for adults aged 25 and over increased 43% from 7.2 per 100,000 U.S. standard population in 2000 to 10.3 in 2016 (Figure 1).
  • Liver cancer death rates increased 43% from 10.5 in 2000 to 15.0 in 2016 for men and 40% from 4.5 to 6.3 for women.
  • The death rate for men was between 2.0–2.5 times the rate for women throughout the period.

Age-adjusted death rates for liver cancer increased during 2000–2016 for non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic adults but decreased for non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander adults.

  • During 2000–2016, the age-adjusted death rate for liver cancer increased 48% (6.1 per 100,000 U.S. standard population to 9.0) for non-Hispanic white adults and 43% (9.5 to 13.6) for non-Hispanic black adults (Figure 2).
  • While non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander (API) adults had the highest liver cancer death rates during 2000–2014 among the four race and Hispanic-origin groups, this group experienced the only decrease (22%), from 17.5 in 2000 to 13.6 in 2016.
  • The liver cancer death rate increased 27% from 11.5 in 2000 to 14.6 in 2016 for Hispanic adults, surpassing the rate for non-Hispanic API adults in 2016.
  • Non-Hispanic white adults had the lowest death rate among the four racial and ethnic groups throughout the period.

Death rates for liver cancer increased from 2000 through 2016 for age groups 65–74 and 75 and over.

  • For adults aged 25–44, the rate remained essentially unchanged during 2000–2016 (Figure 3).
  • For adults aged 45–54, the rate increased 31% from 2000 to 2005, remained stable from 2005 to 2012, and then decreased 20%, from 5.5 per 100,000 population in 2012 to 4.4 in 2016.
  • For adults aged 55–64, the rate increased 109% from 9.3 in 2000 to 19.4 in 2013, but remained stable through 2016.
  • For adults aged 65–74, the rate increased 7%, from 18.7 in 2000 to 20.0 in 2008, and 37% from 20.0 in 2008 to 27.3 in 2016. The rate increased 35% (29.8 in 2000 to 40.2 in 2016) for adults aged 75 and over.
  • The liver cancer death rate was the highest for adults aged 75 and over, followed by age groups 65–74, 55–64, 45–54, and 25–44.

In 2016, the District of Columbia had the highest age-adjusted liver cancer death rate and Vermont had the lowest rate.

  • In 2016, age-adjusted death rates for liver cancer among adults were highest in D.C. (16.8 per 100,000 U.S. standard population), Louisiana (13.8), Hawaii (12.7), and Mississippi and New Mexico (12.4 each) (Figure 4).
  • The five states with the lowest age-adjusted liver cancer death rates were Vermont (6.0), Maine (7.4), Montana (7.7), and Utah and Nebraska (7.8 each).

Summary

This report provides the most recent trends in liver cancer mortality by sex, race and Hispanic origin, and age group for adults aged 25 and over. From 2000 through 2016, death rates increased significantly for both men and women, with the death rate for men between two and two and a half times the rate for women. Liver cancer death rates increased for non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic adults, but declined for non-Hispanic API adults. The rate for non-Hispanic white adults aged 25 and over was the lowest of the four race and Hispanic-origin groups from 2000 through 2016, while the rate for non-Hispanic API adults was the highest from 2000 through 2014. The death rate for Hispanic adults surpassed the rate for non-Hispanic API adults in 2016, thus becoming the highest among the four race and ethnicity groups. From 2000 to 2016, death rates for liver cancer increased significantly for age groups 65–74 and 75 and over. The rate for adults aged 45–54 initially increased, but then decreased significantly since 2012. Liver cancer death rates in 2016 varied by jurisdiction, with the lowest death rate in Vermont and the highest in D.C.

`Trends in Liver Cancer Mortality Among Adults Aged 25 and Over in the United States, 2000–2016

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